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Old 05-30-2012, 06:33 AM   #1
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Hello everyone, I'm waiting to pick up my new 2013 Sunset Trail ST30RE from the dealer across the street from the campground where we are staying. I'm trading in my Heartland MPG 133 which is very small so we are really going from one extreme to another it seems. My biggest concern is the towability ofrealtively longer 34' Sunset Trail vs my current 20' MGP 183. My tow vehicle is a Ford F-150 with the V6 ECO boost engine which at least on paper has the capcity to haul the new trailer but I can't help wonder how practical this is going to be on long trips. Anyone have exerience to share going from a very small trailer like my MPG to one as long as the ST30RE? Any experience specific to ST30RE from current or previousowners is also appreciated.
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:59 PM   #2
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We pull our 2012 30RE with our 09 F150 Crewcab 5.4 triton. So far it tows better than the 26' Jayco Jayfeather that we traded. 6320# dry wt w/3000 cap = 9320 full. Have not pulled it fully loaded yet but with coolers, firewood, and the back end of our Ford packed for a weekend, it tracked beautiful. Little sluggish up hills but still capable. You will need avery good wt distr hitch with sway control.Only modification we made was to do away with the 2 swivel rockers, and got a jacknife sofa instead.. hadda have a place for our 110lb Labrador to sleep!!

Hope you have a GREAT summer!

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Old 06-01-2012, 12:43 AM   #3
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We got the 2012 Sunset Trail 30 RE and we tow it with a 2004 Caddie Escallade 6.0 & we use the Blue Ox system with the built in sway control and it tow super, just enjoy your new baby
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:08 AM   #4
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Congrats on your new trailer, they are really nice!! We tow with adiesel truck so that wasn't a problem for us but going from a 25ft trailer to the 30 STRE which is actually, I think about 33ft from one end to the end of the hitch isdefinitely different in campgrounds, the length of the truck and trailer makes for a very different experience when you are fitting into your camping space. Backing up takes more room tomaneuver and we have found that we aren't able to fit into some of the places we used to even if the length of the space is long enough, sometimes just not enough room to get it backed in. We are happily dealing with this however as the space inside this trailer is awesome!! Edited by: Utahgoldrup
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:57 PM   #5
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We towed our new trailer from the dealer in Albuquerque yesterday to our first campsite in the Texas Pan Handle. Tonight we are camping in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains and we should reach our West Tennesse home near Memphis tomorrow. We love the trailer but there seems to be way too much swaying and instabily when towing at 65 mph or above on the interstate. I have a weight distribution hitch and sway bar installed but it appears that there is just too much weight on the back end of the truck. Maybe I'll need to install beefier springs and shocks after we get back home, in the meantime I'll just slow down to 60 mph.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:23 PM   #6
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60 to 65 is a good speed range when towing. All ST trailer tires are rated for 65 mph max. speed. With these chinese tires you may push your luck and get a tire failure at higher speeds.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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did you check to see if the dealer has your weight distribution hitch set properly?

your TT should be level or slighty leaning forward towards the toe vehicle . does your tow vehicle have leaf springs or coil springs ? coil springs are very soft and are hard to get adjusted . anyway, i would try tweaking your WDH before doing anything to your truck' and as others have stated keep it at 65 or below when towing . JMHO.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:58 PM   #8
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Gary is correct. Mydealer set my WDH up perfectly when in his facility. That was before water, gear, etc. I had to readjust it last week, and if you go to the website there is a PDF document that tells you exactly how to do it. I now have it set exactly as it should be and it pulls like it wasn't there. Setup is important, and if you are going boondocking and fill that tank with water, well that's 58 gallons so it will have an effect for sure. Be aware of changes you make.

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Old 06-05-2012, 01:39 AM   #9
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I keep my speed down below 65 when towing but with the new trailer, I've had to drive at 55 and 60 and it still sways way to much I think. The dealer did adjust my WD Hitch by raising the ball higher but they didn't ever test drive it and I didn't think about it until after I was out on the highway. It's too far to take it back for another adjustment but maybe I can find another dealer here locally to do that.My Tow vehicle, (2011 Ford F-150) does have leaf springs but maybe they need to be stiffer? I noticed the back end went down several inches the first time I hooked up the trailer. I'm going to tow it almost empty today and have it weighed, hopefully that will provide more clues as to just what the problem might be. Thanks everyone for the input.
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:02 AM   #10
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Oh my, if your back end went down several inches you do need an adjustment. You can do this, you don't have to go back to the dealer for this. Depending on how much you take each time you go out (big fluctuations I mean) you may have to adjust. It is only 4 bolts you removed, takes all of 5 minutes. The most important, and I stress this, the most important step is making sure you are on fairly flat and level ground. Measure according to the directions and if you do it correctly, when you back your TV up, it should almost be level with the hitch. I did this myself, and I am no mechanic, and it worked perfectly. Another important thing is to make sure you have a torque wrench to tighten the bolts to the 65-75 pounds recommended. Actually the torque wrench is one of the first tools I bought after getting my unit, to test the axle bolts. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. Good luck.

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Old 06-05-2012, 02:04 AM   #11
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I'm sorry, I forgot to post the link to the manual:

http://www.equalizerhitch.com/pdf/eq...anual_0111.pdf

Good luck,
Jim
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Old 06-05-2012, 01:23 PM   #12
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I took the trailer and dumped the tanks today and weighed it with and without my truck. The "certified" dry weight posted by the manufacturer next to the door was 6339 but the weight from the Flying J Truckstop turned out to be 7030. I still have a few items inside the camper but certainly no more than 100 pounds. The fresh water tank was still indicating 1/3 full when I weighed it so add in another 200 lbs. That still doesn't get the weight up to 7030 but that's still well within75% ofthe tow capacity advertised by Ford for this particular vehicle. I drove it down the interstate at 65 MPH and the ride was much better but still not what I would expect. I alsomeasured the amount that the backend of the truck went down when the trailer was hooked on and the WDH bars connected, it was just under 4 inches so I'm thinking some better springs and/or maybe heaviershocks are needed. Thanks for the link to the WD Hitch users guide, I will take a look at that and see if any adjustments are in order. The trailer looks level compared to the truck but I did notice that dealer set the hitch so that theball is almost higher than the bumper so maybe that is also part of the problem.Thanks again for all of the input, I'll keep at it until I get it right.

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Old 06-05-2012, 01:38 PM   #13
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I added "Timbren Spring Supports" to my F150 Crewcab and they really made a difference. Keeps the back end of the truck up. They are more economical than air bags. Only drawback is the truck ride is a little stiffer when not loaded or towing. Other than that, they'll nearly eliminate the sagging and helps alot with sway control.
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:30 AM   #14
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I talked to a company in Mermphis today that specializes in reinforcing truck suspension to carry heavier loads. They said they have a kit that will provide the right amount of lift to the back of my truck but not affect the ride when not towing. I'm scheduled for installation Friday, I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 06-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #15
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;od luck and keep us posted on how it goes...while you are at it and when you pick it up use the manual to have them set up your WDH correctly for you Two birds, one stone

Jim
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Old 06-06-2012, 11:53 PM   #16
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Good idea, thanks I will be sure to take my hitch with me.
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Old 06-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #17
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I took my truck to Custom Springs in Memphis this morning and they installed something called a "Load Helper" which consists of a rubber spring and some washers which prevents the frame from being pressed down by a heavy load yet doesn't cause the ride to be rough when not towing. WhenI hooked up the trailer, the back of the truck only went down 2" instead of 4". I towed the trailer down the interstate for about 40 miles and it behaved much better than before the load helper was installed with only a small amount of sway when big trucks passed even at 65 mph. Now this was with a virtually empty trailer of course so the real test will be when we load the trailer and head out for another long trip which I hope will be soon. I may need to adjust the weight distribution hitch though, the front of the trailer seems to be just a little high. The follks at Custom Springs also told me that if I continued to experience serious problems with sway to come back and they will install an additional leaf spring.
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Old 06-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #18
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Just a thought------hopefully you are running the air pressure at max, or a touch more on the TV. If your tires are at all under inflated, that rig will feel like snot on a door knob--
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Old 06-09-2012, 12:29 AM   #19
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That 150 more than likely has P rated tires, instead of LT tires. P are for comfort and have a lot of side wall flex. I had the same problem with a Durango and our Zinger Afte going to LT tires problem went a way



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Old 06-09-2012, 03:03 AM   #20
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If the front end is still a little high you need to readjust the WDH, that should do the trick. Try it and see you have nothing to lose, and you will have peace of mind also

Jim
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